The Top Five

TVs For PC Monitors

Best Smart TV Reviews 2018
the best smart tv for a pc monitor

2017 Sony X720E 4K Smart TV

The Sony X720E is a solid options for any one not only looking for an entry level smart TV, but also for one as a PC monitor. The Chroma subsampling is very good despite lacking 1080p @ 120 Hz support. With that being said, the contrast ratio is ...

User rating:
7.3
$498.00 $599.99 Check Price
Full Review
2 2018 Samsung Q8FN QLED Smart TV

2018 Samsung Q8FN QLED Smart TV

The Samsung Q8FN make a compelling case as one of the best smart TVs in 2018, but lacks a more reasonable price tag to actually give it the nod. So with my reviewing, I found this to be true and then some. The picture value is quite good even ...

User rating:
8.3
$1,697.99 $1,797.99 Check Price
Full Review
Best seller 3 Vizio P Series 2018 4K Smart TV

Vizio P Series 2018 4K Smart TV

Vizio P Series 2018 Review and Expectations Before my initial P Series review, I struggled to guess where it would finally rank, but (with little surprise) it remains the best smart TV Vizio has to offer. The picture quality is nicely ...

User rating:
7.9
Best value 4 Samsung NU6900 LED 4K Smart TV

Samsung NU6900 LED 4K Smart TV

Samsung NU6900 TV Review and Expectations As with most other cheap TVs. the Samsung NU6900 sacrifices the more luxurious features to focus on features that actually make it a smart TV. This includes the higher native contrast ratio, quick ...

User rating:
7.2
$1,397.99 $1,499.99 Check Price
Full Review
5 TCL S405 S Series (43S405, 49S405, 55S405, 65S405)

TCL S405 S Series (43S405, 49S405, 55S405, 65S405)

Forget what you know about cheap TVs for sale because this TV shattered previous notions of what you should expect from a cheaper TV. With a decent contrast ratio, good motion handling and a great input lag you will be able to do almost anything ...

User rating:
7.3
$429.99 $599.99 Check Price
Full Review

Best Smart TVs of 2018

Buying Guide and Advice

How I Find The Best TVs

If the above smart TVs didn’t work out, I recommend you read below to help yourself find a good deal. I’ve organized some quick info on how I determine the best televisions for any kind of criteria. I go over features, prices, prices histories, some frequently asked questions and even share the most recent changes to my top 5 smart TVs.

What Is Chroma Subsampling?

When content is viewed, it has to be filtered and transferred through many means of technology. A limitation on how fast this can be done is largely due to the bandwidth you have. A simple fix to this is often the setting called Chroma Subsampling. Below is a series of photos to help illustrate what it does and why it is helpful or getting in the way of you finding the best TV for a PC monitor.

chroma subsampling trt

The Source: This is the first number in each series you see above. Imagine this as the original way a scene or list of content was recorded and then distributed. There are no adjustments made here and are used as reference so we can see how content has been changed by a smart TV.

The Compression: This is both the second and third number in the sequences you see above. This can be 0, 2, or 4. The first of the two references the horizontal compression it will take into account (if any at all). The second of the two numbers takes in amount of vertical compression it will account for which can again be 0, 2, or 4. So in the case of 4:4:4, no compression will occur. In another example, 4:2:2 has half the chroma of 4:4:4, and 4:2:0 has a quarter of the same information available. This is important for a variety of reasons which I’ll touch on next.

End Result: By definition Chroma subsampling is the encoding images by allowing less resolution for chroma information than for luma information. This takes advantage of the human visual system’s lower acuity for color differences than for luminance. So in essence we are tricking our eyes into perceiving a clearer and more crisp picture even though (digitally) it has been altered. This, of course, is not an issue for smart TVs that support 4:4:4 sampling.

In the end, it’ll all depend on what you’re eyes can notice differently about the picture, but the best bet is to go without any compression at all. Though, the best TV for a PC monitor isn’t always the without compression. Some times it is a lot cheaper and makes the savings worth it. Take that into account when hunting down a deal.

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The Best Size For A PC Monitor

Computer are more oriented around a desk of some kind which means the best TV for a PC monitor will have to be a bit smaller as well. Most often as well you’ll be sitting much closer which means you do not need a TV that is as large by the same token. With that in mind, most of my recommendations fall around 43 inches and under, but many people are turning their living rooms into a PC room which is why I’ll also recommend larger TV sets. The key is that it has better than average chroma subsampling in the end.

pc tv sizes

Another thing to remember about these smaller (or larger) smart TVs, is that there are too many of them in circulation or nearly none at all. I take this heavily into account when deciding on the best TV for a PC monitor because I do not want you overpaying for average performance, or being unable to find a television that is worth the money.

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PC Monitor Input Lag

Another huge part of finding the best TV for a PC monitor is taking into account the input lag since you’ll being using external devices to control your PC and in turn your smart TV. Not to mention many people do use their PCs for playing video games. So this is certainly a dual purpose metric that allows you to knock out two birds with one stone.tested input lags

I do not see many smart TVs any more that fall under 19-20 ms input lag, but if they are released in the near future you can be sure their likely to make the list. Aside from those rare cases I recommend that the best TV for a PC monitor be one that fall around 20 ms, but no higher than 30 ms as that is when things start to be noticeable.

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Ideal PC Monitor Panel Types

There is a large variety of panels types for smart TVs, but only so many are actually worth the cost or reliable over time. This is especially true for the best TV for a PC monitor because it should be designed to be used over the course of many years, not a one or two. So with the amount of TVs I’ve tested, I’ve noticed a direct relation between the number of LED panels and how reliable they seem to be making them the best options for use as a PC monitor. A close second would have to be an OLED or QLED style smart TV, but those are variants of LED in the end.

pc screen types

An important thing to note here is that curve TVs did not make it into the top 5 TVs for PC monitors. This is because they are more a stylistic design rather than a truly effect form of transferring information for the screen to you. They have more narrow viewing angle and often can not handle reflections very well which makes them less than ideal for most users as a PC monitor. Though, if you are dead-set on a curved TV, leave a comment and I will be happy to find the best option for you.

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FAQ

Do I recommend refurbished TVs?

I actually have a good article over refurbished smart TVs with their pros and cons. In short: I do not recommend these types of televisions too often, but they can potentially save you money depending on the situation.

How do I know if I need a wall-mount?

This is actually quite simple once you know what you’re looking for. You should not be looking down towards your smart TV nor be looking more than 15 degrees up towards it either. I cover this topic more thoroughly inside of my TV Viewing Distance article.

What are the most important features of a smart TV?

You’ll want to look for a good series of native contrast ratios, low response times, 4K support, and the ability to prevent reflections or glare when hunting for a good television. This is especially true when you have a small budget as with the top smart TVs under 500 dollars. This is for general purpose use, where as for the best TV for a PC monitor is the chroma subsampling, diagonal size, response time, and input lag.

Which TV will be best for video games or sports?

For video games, you will want a low input lag. This helps the TV actually show the changes in the game you make with your controller inputs. As for sports, the best addition to a good picture is a low response time. This helps the action seem smooth and helps prevent eye-tracking.

Why Do None Of These TVs Have A Display Port?

Unfortunately, the display port has been removed from most smart TVs and the ones that have a display port often are a very good set in the end.

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Changelog

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